United Way’s YLS awards scholarship

Etowah High School senior Braxton Bush received the first scholarship given by the United Way’s Young Leader’s Society, Gadsden-Etowah County, Bush was honored at a luncheon April 26. Pictured above, from left, Etowah High School Counselor Kali Brand, Chamber President Heather New, Braxton Bush, his mother Bernadette Bush, Etowah High School Principal John Serafini and YLS President Jay Hedgspeth.Etowah High School senior Braxton Bush received the first scholarship given by the United Way’s Young Leader’s Society, Gadsden-Etowah County, Bush was honored at a luncheon April 26. Pictured above, from left, Etowah High School Counselor Kali Brand, Chamber President Heather New, Braxton Bush, his mother Bernadette Bush, Etowah High School Principal John Serafini and YLS President Jay Hedgspeth.

By Donna Thornton/News Editor

Etowah High School senior Braxton Bush is already a leader in his school, and the members of United Way’s Young Leaders Society, Gadsden, Etowah County, want to help Bush further develop his leadership skills and foster his community involvement.

Bush is the first recipient of an YLS scholarship.

He was selected on the basis of an application filled with examples of Bush’s commitments to school and community organizations that eloquently stated his desire to have an impact on the world around him.

While the luncheon April 26 was aimed at getting to know Braxton, congratulating and encouraging him, his mother Bernadette Bush received some recognition as well. After the death of Braxton’s father, she has reared him as a single parent. YLS Community Outreach Committee Chair Heather New said Braxton’s essay made it very clear the positive impact his mother has had on him.

New said the group received 14 applications for its first scholarship and had a tough decision to make.

“But what most certainly set Braxton apart was the essay he submitted – about what sets him apart from the other candidates applying for the scholarship,” New wrote in an email to committee members. She included excerpts from his essay:

“My determination has always been a key component in my life due to the fact of how God sees me and the love He has for me, as well as the loss of my father at an early age,” Braxton wrote. “I believe that I am a young African American male leader who sees further than what other black men my age can value.

“This scholarship will enable me to … complete a goal my deceased father always knew I wanted to accomplish, and be a positive leader for other men of my race.

“… It will remind me to keep my priorities in order and focus on my education… My hope is that someone else will see great things in me and believe that he can achieve the impossible.”

In addition to an exceptional essay, Braxton had an excellent resume: SGI President of Etowah High School; First Priority President/Leader; Beta Club President; Health Occupations Student of America Parliamentarian; DARE counselor, Fellowship of Christian Athletes member; varsity basketball player, Chamber Student Leadership Council member; licensed youth minister at Bride of Christ Worship Center; Junior Development Leadership Conference member; Clinical Internship at Riverview Medical Center; Key Club member; Mu Alpha Theta member; Boy Scout volunteer; NAACP Leadership Award; Attalla City School Outstanding Leadership Award, 21st Century Program and many more awards or areas of school and community involvement.

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